Becoming A Sustainable Solar Business
We know we’re doing a good thing by putting up solar panels. Saving CO2, and mitigating climate change is why we do what we do. But is it enough?
Are we a sustainable business?
When you work in a solar company it’s easy to think that you’re inherently sustainable. But is that always the case?
Our customers save CO2 and reduce their carbon footprint, that much is clear. But what about our own environmental footprint as an organisation? Are we polluting the environment ourselves, whilst going about our business of helping our customers go green? Sustainability is also about far more than just saving carbon dioxide. To be truly sustainable in material terms we need to consider other items hat flow through our business, both in our offices, on site, and in transport. These include waste streams and their disposal, water use, paper and cardboard, chemicals, metals and plastics, and yes, fossil fuel use in transport too.
What are Joju Doing?
We’re very proud to have been awarded ISO 14001 accreditation. The ISO 14000 family of standards provides a framework and practical tools for companies looking to manage their environmental responsibilities. We’re now on a cyclical process of monitoring our impacts, evaluating what can be done better, implementing these changes, and monitoring again. The major areas we have been looking at include:
- Minimising waste on site, recycling leftover components
- Recycling of cardboard packaging of panels and inverters
- Transport for site visits and installations
- Reducing energy and material use within our offices
- Ensuring major components are conflict mineral free
- Looking at our supply chains, and using suppliers that meet the same standards as ourselves
To our knowledge we’re one of very few solar companies in the country to have ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 accreditation, which we see as demonstration of the strong commitment to sustainability within the Joju Solar team. It’s a first step, however, and we’d like to go much further.
The economist, Kate Raworth, in her book “Doughnut Economics” (seriously, read it – it’s as good as it sounds!) talks of the need for businesses to do more than just what they are required by law. Good processes, and embedding in a circular economy of material reuse, should allow a business to be net zero across all its activities. But it is possible to go even further – by creating an enterprise that is ‘generous’, and giving back to the systems of which we are a part. And that’s our big goal for Joju Solar.
Our work with community groups and social housing programmes is beginning to ‘give back’ to those around us; our next challenge is how we can be ‘generous’ in all that we do.
- We’re doing our bit by installing a 50kWp array on the roof of our London Office – the historic Omnibus Centre in Caledonian Road
- Find out how we’re giving back with our community energy and social housing work
- Looking at “The Doughnut” – transforming economics so we live within our environmental planetary boundaries whilst providing a fair and just social foundation for all.